Thursday was a bad day for anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan.
First, she got booted from the ultra-liberal website Daily Kos (h/t Ace) due to her decision to run against House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California).
Then, during a visit to Montgomery, Alabama, as part of her “Summer of Love 2007” tour, Cindy was confronted by a Bush supporter who actually asked a rather cogent question that frankly few on the left or in the media care to address: “What happens to Iraq after we leave?”
This prompted a somewhat predictable exchange wherein Sheehan answered questions with questions rather than address the likely horrific genocide that will follow a capricious American troop withdrawal (video available here with relevant section beginning at minute 3:50, partial transcript follows):
In an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal, ABC anchorman Charles Gibson plays the scold of newfangled Internet news and citizen bloggers: He "knows people are curious, but he is concerned that when users make their own Internet front pages, those pages will focus on gossip instead of solid information. He thinks old-fashioned journalism is underrated these days." Then there's this:
"It's important to have people with a lot of experience putting together what you need to know," he said. "Maybe I'm sticking my head in the sand, but I still think there is still a tremendous role for mainstream media." He's also a little dubious about self-appointed Internet journalists. He said he was on a panel with retired Washington Post executive editor Ben Bradlee when someone asked Bradlee what he thought about citizen reporters. Gibson said Bradlee replied, "I don't know. What do you think of citizen surgeons?"
Time magazine has a lengthy piece on Democrats and religion called, "How the Democrats Got Religion." (HT: Drudge) (Btw, the original title on the web yesterday was "Leveling the Praying Field.") It focuses on efforts by Democrats (most notably, Sens. Obama, Clinton, and Edwards) to attract voters who are religious. There is certainly an attempt at balance in the article, but the folks at the DNC must be pretty happy. The article, penned by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy, claims, "The Democrats are so fired up, you could call them the new Moral Majority."
"The new Moral Majority"? Yikes. The article devotes substantial space to showing how Democrats are trying to muster up a majority to win elections, but what about the "moral" part? Gibbs and Duffy neglect a number of important issues and episodes regarding Democrats and religion. Witness:
1.John Edwards and anti-Catholicism:
How on earth do you compose a piece thousands of words long on Democrats and religion without mentioning John Edwards' gross episode with anti-Catholic bigotry earlier this year? (See this and this.)
The President shall be Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States, and of the Militia of the several States, when called into the actual Service of the United States. -- U.S. Constitution Article II, Section 2.
The faces occasionally change at "Today," but the bias remains the same. Natalie Morales sat in for Meredith Vieira this morning, but the show didn't lose a liberal beat, as Natalie knocked President Bush for his temerity in asserting his constitutional role as Commander-in-Chief.
Chatting with Tim Russert at about 7:10 A.M. EDT, Morales offered this take on W's comments of yesterday:
NBC'S NATALIE MORALES: Tim, what was striking yesterday was the aggressive tone the President took with Congress yesterday,with lawmakers, saying it is not their job to manage the war. Not since Vietnam has there been such a clash between the executive and the legislative branches. If the President is trying to build support, did he lose some of that yesterday?
But a Florida Republican state legislator is only arrested for solicitation of oral sex from an undercover male police officer, and his party affiliation is rendered in the second paragraph of the AP story.
That doesn't seem to square with the AP Stylebook, which says party affiliation mention should be tested by relevance to the story and that in some stories "[p]arty affiliation is pointless."
We are seeing all over the MSM the reports highlighting the Republicans in the House and Senate who are turning away from the Party line and voting against -- or at least seeming to vote against -- the President's Iraq war policies. The MSM is presenting this revolt as a momentous thing, unprecedented and presenting it as a loss for the President's ideas. Yet, even as a small number of Republicans have, indeed, voted against the Party line, an even larger number of Democrats are voting against their Party, too. Yet, somehow, we are not hearing this being brought up by the tongue waggers and controversy-mongers in the MSM.
In a July 12th vote in the House of Representatives to mandate a certain date to pull out of Iraq, for instance, the fact that four Republicans broke ranks is treated as a stampede of GOP defectors. Yet, in that same vote, 10 Democrats did not vote with their Party -- in effect "defecting" to the GOP side of the argument. Of this fact, the MSM seem strangely quite.
Why is it that four Republican votes against the President's plans is some sort of landslide, yet 10 Democrat votes against their Party line is ignored?
ABC's Jake Tapper on Thursday night raised the prediction “genocide” will result after a U.S. withdrawal from Iraq, a forecast Tapper put to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid at a Capitol Hill news conference: “Do you think the Iraqi people will be safer with U.S. troops out?” Reid didn't respond to the point, leading Tapper to retort in the exchange played on World News: “You didn't answer my question.” A perturbed Reid, presumably not used to challenging questions from the Washington press corps, chastised Tapper: “This isn't a debate. We're answering questions.” Tapper then repeated his question -- “Will the Iraqis be safer?” -- but Reid ignored him and moved on: “Anyone else have a question?”
Tapper's story ran a night after Wednesday's World News featured a report from Terry McCarthy in Iraq on how General David Petraeus, commander of all multi-national forces in Iraq, “is still very optimistic about the military battle, if the politicians give him enough time.” (July 11 NewsBusters item)
But that didn’t stop ABC “World News with Charles Gibson” from promoting the left-wing group trying to accomplish that.
“If the group can get them [the penguin] protected by the U.S. Endangered Species Act, they say it’ll send an important message about the global problem of climate change,” said ABC science correspondent Ned Potter on July 11.
The segment, called "Hidden Charges," did not include comment from the banking industry and it also ignored the risk taken by banks by offering overdraft protection service – which can be a benefit to consumers. Bouncing a check is costly too from what I've heard.
Video (3:15):Real (2.38 MB) or Windows (1.99 MB), plus MP3 audio (1.11 MB).
It starts with Helen Thomas insisting that President Bush is responsible for al Qaeda in Iraq and ends with Martha Raddatz of ABC News misconstruing a new report on al Qaeda to conclude the terror network's threat is "greater than ever now." NBC's David Gregory and CBS's Jim Axelrod are also included. All questions betray an alarmist and defeatist tone on Iraq and/or push President Bush to consider hypotheticals involving Democrats passing legislation to curtail his management of the war.
We've seen the phenomena of the media forgetting to identify political parties when a Democrat is portrayed negatively and at times, when a Republican is portrayed positively, as during Rep. William Jefferson's (D-LA) corruption and bribery scandal. Conversely, an AP article about Sen. David Vitter's (R-LA) link to the “D.C. Madam” included his party in the first four words.
Since everyone doesn't read every article, it's important to pack the major facts into the initial paragraphs. The first several paragraphs offered many perfect spots to disclose Black's party, but they were not used. Also, the seriousness and details of the charges were minimized by vague descriptions. Between the vagueness of the charges and the lack of identification, the reader is left with questions (emphasis mine throughout):
On Thursday, Jules Crittenden wondered if American media are lazy, stupid or willfully ignorant with how they’ve been reporting events in Iraq.
Given the BBC’s recent piece concerning the relationship between the sun and climate change which hysterically ignored an article it published almost three years ago with a completely diametric view, one might ask the same question of that British television network.
To set this up, as NewsBusters reported Thursday, the BBC.com published a piece concerning Mike Lockwood’s paper discrediting a connection between the sun’s activities and global warming in the past 22 years.
The donations to the global warming cause keep coming in from NBC. On this morning's "Today" show, the band Maroon 5 came on to tease their upcoming performance on the show but couldn't leave without the "Today" show cast urging them to plug their partnership with a liberal environmentalist organization, that gets $1 from every Maroon 5 ticket sold.
When the band's lead singer, Adam Levine, urged viewers to buy tickets for their tour, "Today" co-host Ann Curry mentioned viewers could see the band for free at their August 17th performance on the Rockefeller Center Plaza. However Today's weatherman, Al Roker, quickly rectified Curry's inadvertent undercutting of the cause, as he reminded viewers: "But buy a ticket because a dollar goes to Global Cool."
If you’re the kind of liberal elitist who makes untold millions as a precious literary mind on National Public Radio (complete with relentless program-related merchandising), then you are the kind of person who finds the "War on Terror" to be nothing more than the comedic Gift That Keeps on Giving. I’m talking about Garrison Keillor of "A Prairie Home Companion," who takes up space on the left-wing site Salon.com on Thursday with a "comedy" piece headlined: "His stethoscope is loaded: The war on terror must be pursued wherever it leads and right now it points toward people in green scrubs." The recent finding that some terrorist suspects are doctors will no doubt lead to dramatic and tyrannical overreaching by "Secretary Shirtsoff" and the Department of Homeland Security, Keillor suggests:
A funny thing happened a few days after Al Gore’s concerts to draw attention to global warming concluded: a significant study out of England stating that changes in the sun’s output are not responsible for climate change went almost thoroughly ignored by America’s media.
A report by the BBC on Tuesday, which demonstrably challenged one of the key arguments made by anthropogenic global warming skeptics, would normally have been greeted with great enthusiasm by press representatives in the States always looking to highlight stories supporting their green agenda.
Yet, of the major American news organizations, only Bloomberg gave this new study any attention:
Jimmy Carter is writing another book. Already, you ask? Well, this one is a little different than some of his others. Due out this fall, it's a memoir about his mother, "Miss Lillian" Carter, the woman whom Carter says was his "inspiration" to "commitment and faith."
The topic of this new book doesn't interest me so much as how the short AP article by Hillel Italie describes Carter's career as an author in the final paragraph:
Jimmy Carter, 82, has been a prolific author since leaving the White House, in 1981. His many best sellers include "An Hour Before Daylight," "Our Endangered Values" and "Palestine: Peace Not Apartheid," which angered supporters of Israel and led 14 members of an advisory board to the Atlanta-based Carter Center to resign in protest.
Thursday’s edition of "Good Morning America" featured a Diane Sawyer anecdote that revealed the low opinion Americans have of journalists. After wrapping up a segment on people who avoid jury duty, the ABC co-host recounted the "hurtful" experience she had in a courtroom:
Diane Sawyer: "You know, I wanted to sit on a jury once and I was taken off the jury. And the judge said to me, 'Can, you know, can you tell the truth and be fair?' And I said, 'That's what journalists do.' And everybody in the courtroom laughed. It was the most hurtful moment I think I've ever had."
"The campaign of presidential hopeful John Edwards has a ready answer for all the criticism about his expensive haircuts and expansive home: A man can be wealthy and care about the poor, too.
Just look at a Democratic hero Robert F. Kennedy." [sic]
Bobby Kennedy, of course, is still remembered warmly by much of the mainstream media for his expressed concern for poor people. What isn't so well remembered is that Kennedy himself couldn't explain exactly why this issue was of such importance to him.
In 1968 a Time Magazine piece covered Kennedy's foray into poverty-stricken eastern Kentucky. A pertinent excerpt:
"Why, Kennedy was asked in the township of Pippa Passes, was a man reared to a multimillionaire's comforts concerned with the plight of Kentucky's poor? 'I can't answer that question,' Bobby confessed. 'Sorry.'